RESULTS: Out of 97 patients screened, only 7 were carriers for the 3.7 deletion and all patients were negative for the 4.2 deletion. The 3.7 deletion was found in Foor, Hawsa and Rezagat Sudanese tribes. In the carriers of the 3.7 deletion, Red Blood Cells and Haematocrit were significantly increased. The Red Blood Cells were 7.23 ± 0.78 × 1012/L in adult males and 7.21 ± 0.67 × 1012/L in adult females while in children were 5.07 ± 0.87 × 1012/L. The mean cell volume and mean cell haemoglobin were significantly decreased, but the mean cell haemoglobin concentration slightly decreased. Haemoglobin levels didn't revealed statistically significant decrease in adult males (11.7 ± 0.57 g/dL) and adult females (11.25 ± 0.64 g/dL), while in children were (11.6 ± 2.95 g/dL). Haemoglobin electrophoresis revealed two patients of the 3.7 and 4.2 negative were carriers for β-thalassemia. The study concluded that α3.7 deletion has frequency of 0.07 in Sudanese with hypochromasia and microcytosis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective study was carried out on 318 subjects with hypochromic anaemia, which comprised 162 IDA and 156 thalassaemia trait subjects with α-thalassemia, β-thalassemia and HbE trait. Optimal cut-off value, sensitivity and specificity of M/H ratio for thalassaemia trait discrimination was determined using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis.
RESULTS: Subjects with thalassaemia trait showed higher MicroR compared to IDA ( p< 0.001) while subjects with IDA demonstrated higher Hypo-He than thalassaemia trait (p < 0.001). M/H ratio was significantly higher in thalassaemia trait compared to IDA, with medians of 3.77 (interquartile range: 2.57 - 6.52) and 1.73 (interquartile range: 1.27 - 2.38), respectively (p < 0.001). M/H ratio ≥ 2.25 was the optimal cut-off value for discriminating thalassaemia trait from IDA in hypochromic anaemia, with the area under ROC curve (AUC) of 0.83, sensitivity of 80.8% and specificity of 71.6%.
CONCLUSIONS: M/H ratio is a useful discriminant index to distinguish thalassaemia trait from IDA in hypochromic anaemia prior to diagnostic analysis for thalassaemia confirmation. High M/H ratio is suggestive of thalassaemia trait than of IDA. However, more studies are required to establish the role of M/H ratio as a screening tool for thalassaemia discrimination in hypochromic anaemia.
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